Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Snehal D’souza
KUNEGAON, FEBRUARY 15, 2011: Getting the women’s group together was a challenge in Kunegaon. Most had fought with each other at the water tap and so did not want to come together if the other was coming for the class. Sonali Shelkhe, Social Worker MA, got the women through different interactions, meetings on mother and child care, creativity works and stitching.

A group of eleven women got their documents together to apply for the tailoring course taught by Sonali on two machines from MA. On completing the course, they received the Government recognized certificate that made them eligible for a scheme, to obtain a tailoring machine each (it has been applied for and awaited). They were further encouraged to stitch shorts and kurtas for all the boys of MA. The money that they received was invested in purchasing cloth, which was used to make small shorts, shirts and dresses for little kids. They sold it to their village shops at R 10/- less than the markrate and stipulated the shops to sell it for R 5/- lesser than the market price. This has ensured that they have a ready market of their own people. Besides; the women take private orders for saree falls and blouses for their individual income.

Regular attendance for these tailoring classes was a bit difficult. The women had to go to cut firewood for cooking or to sell them. They would earn R 100/- to R 150/-. The women spend approximately six hours for this activity. Hence, a novel method needed to be implemented to get them to make further business.

The cooking is done on a two brick chulla. This has caused lung disease and blurred sight to the middle aged. The smokeless chulla technology has been brought to the villagers to use less firewood, improve their health, eyesight and most importantly it has given them more time and health to earn more in tailoring and producing more for their own economic gains.

Capital building needs to be viewed in creative measures. What can be saved like; health, money, time, human resource are poverty alleviating measures. Hence, the smokeless chulla, the art of preserving urine and human waste for soil nutrition and enrichment ( through Econsan services), water management, marketing within one’s own community, etc. are measurers that are establishing the SnF programme for the poor in tangible terms of transforming their daily economic life

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